Updated: October 24, 2015




BASN’S HBCU VIEW 2015 – Week Eight

By Anthony McClean, Editor – in – Chief, Emeritus



NEW HAVEN,CT (BASN) — Sadly, we must begin this week’s HBCU football preview on a sad note. The staff of BASN sends out condolences to the family and friends of former Fayetteville State football coach Kenny Phillips who passed away Friday after a bout with cancer.


Phillips, a former linebacker at East Carolina, arrived at FSU in 2000 as the Broncos were coming off a 1-10 finish. His first Fayetteville State team went 3-7, but the Broncos would compile a 38-18 record over the next five years while winning the first of three CIAA titles under Phillips in 2002.


The Broncos would also win the 2003 and 2009 CIAA titles under Phillips, while advancing to the NCAA Division II playoffs on three occasions.But in November 2012, FSU relieved Phillips of his football duties after a 2-8 season and reassigned him to a teaching position.


He finished as the school’s all-time leader in victories with a 75-63 record.


Phillips was later hired by former FSU offensive coordinator Connell Maynor as defensive coordinator at Hampton University, but he was forced to take a leave of absence from that job after the cancer was discovered.


Phillips is survived by his wife Beverly, daughters Kathryn and Kennedy, and grandson, Brayden Jones.


As for on the field, lets take a brief look at the races in the four conferences.




Call it “Separation Saturday” as the top two teams from the Northern and Southern Divisions go at each other head on. Coming off big wins last week, Bowie State and Virginia Union will meet Saturday at 1 pm ET at Bulldog Stadium.


Both teams are an identical 6-1 overall and 2-0 in the division heading into the showdown. Damon Wilson’s squad is riding a four-game winning streak following their 22-19 come-from-behind win at Virginia State.


Freshman quarterback Nyema Washington hit Kerry Pollock for the game-winning touchdown with 40.6 seconds left to secure the victory. Pollock had six catches on the day for a game-high 115 yards and a 60-yard punt return for another score.


As for the Panthers, who are 6-1 for the first time since 2007, they scored 30 unanswered points in the third quarter en route to their 33-14 triumph over Chowan at Hovey Field.


It was another stellar performance for VUU freshman running back Hakeem Holland. The Baltimore native rushed for 164 yards on 16 carries, including two touchdowns.


Defensively, VUU’s top-ranked defense (No. 1 in all of Division II football) held the Hawks to to -5 yards rushing and just 186 yards of total offense. The schools have split the last four meetings. However, VUU hasn’t won at Bowie since 2010.


As for the South, defending division champ Winston-Salem (3-4) and Livingston (3-2) are both sitting atop the standings with 2-0 records. They’ll battle each other Saturday at 1 pm in Salisbury, N.C.


Both teams are coming off big wins last week. The Blue Bears thrashed Shaw 41-22 while the Rams defeated St. Aug’s 31-19. This is the 51st meeting between the two schools, with Winston-Salem State holding a commanding series lead, 38-11-1.


The Rams have won 12 straight in this series.




North Carolina A&T (5-1, 3-0 MEAC) put themselves in the driver’s seat for a MEAC crown after last week’s 24-14 victory over Bethune-Cookman. They’ll return to Aggie Stadium Saturday at 1 pm to host Howard (0-6, 0-4) for Homecoming.


The Aggies (who lead the all-time series 26-20-2) are looking for their fourth straight win over the Bison, which would tie a series record for longest winning streak. However, Howard could give A&T some trouble.


Before being blown out by S.C. State last week, the Bison lost to Morgan State by eight and to Norfolk State by three. The Bison have struggled offensively, posting just three offensive touchdowns over their first six games.


Also, Morgan State (3-3, 3-1 MEAC) will be looking to keep pace with the Aggies as they travel to Durham, N.C. to meet North Carolina Central (3-3, 2-1) at O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium at 2 pm.


The Bears are looking to bounce back after last week’s 20-10 homecoming loss to Hampton. The Eagles are coming off a come-from-behind 39-22 win at Savannah State.


Morgan State leads the all-time series 24-13-2 over NCCU. The Bears have won seven of the past nine meetings, including two in-a-row. Last year, NCCU held a 20-7 lead with less than 10 minutes remaining in the contest, but MSU two touchdowns, including the game-winner coming with 32 seconds left, to stun the Eagles, 21-20.




In the Eastern Division, Albany State (3-3, 1-0) will try to make up ground on a Fort Valley State team (4-3, 2-0) that’s idle this week. The Golden Rams will travel to Clark Atlanta to meet the Panthers (1-6, 1-2) for their homecoming at CAU Stadium.


The 2 pm contest is a part of an unique SIAC football doubleheader featured on the Aspire Network Saturday. The “Homecoming Takeover” will also show Morehouse College taking on Benedict College at B.T. Harvey Stadium.


The broadcast will allow fans the opportunity to not only track two thrilling games, but be a part of the homecoming experience and festivities.


Clark Atlanta won its first game of the season with a 24-3 win over Benedict last week as it heads into Saturday against Albany State who has won its last two games.


In the West, Tuskegee (6-1) and Miles College (3-4) remain tied atop the division at 2-0). For the fourth time in five weeks, the Golden Tigers hit the road as they travel to Frankfort (Ky.) to face Kentucky State (2-5, 1-1) at 1 pm on Saturday.


TU has won three of the four matchups on the road, including wins over conference foes Lane and Morehouse. They’ve held their opponents to just over 11 points per game, while in their five losses KSU is averaging just over 11 points per game.


The Thoroughbreds’ last loss came this past Saturday at the hands of Miles College, a 16-6 contest in front of a packed Homecoming crowd at Albert J. Sloan-Alumni Stadium. The Golden Bears will host Lane College (2-5,0-3) for Senior Day with kickoff slated for 6 pm CT.




With the two top teams in the East (4-1 Alcorn State and 3-3 Alabama State) having the week off, Saturday’s focus will be on the teams contending in the West. Grambling is on top at 5-0 with Prairie View A&M (4-1) and Southern (3-1) right behind.


The Panthers are idle after last week’s 47-42 win against the Jaguars at A.W. Mumford Stadium. SU will look to right the ship when they travel to Houston to meet Texas Southern (3-3, 2-3).


The homecoming contest has been moved to a noon CT kick-off due to the forecast of adverse weather conditions on Saturday. The game was initially slated to start at 2 pm but TSU officials confirmed that the game start time would be altered due to heavy rains projected to move through the local Houston area.


Last week, TSU quarterback Averion Hurts threw six touchdown passes and ran for another score to lead the Tigers to a 49-21 victory over Mississippi Valley State. Overall, Hurts was 19 of 24 for 311 yards passing.


He threw three scoring strikes to Derrick Griffin, and one touchdown pass to Larry Clark III and Steven Carpenter each. Hurts also ran for 68 yards on 14 carries with a 5-yard touchdown run.


The Delta Devils (0-7, 0-5) will travel to Eddie Robinson Stadium to meet Grambling at 2 pm CT. Last week, GSU overcame a 28-14 halftime deficit at Alcorn State and came back to defeat the Braves 35-34 in overtime.


It was the final play of overtime that secured the Grambling State win as senior defensive lineman Jamison Goins blocked a Haiden McCradey extra point that would have tied the game, forcing a second overtime.


Tony McClean can be reached via e-mail at


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